I’m Not 18 Years Old Anymore

by Zeke Flores

I'm not 18 years old anymore

My body doesn't move as it did then; more things droop and sag, and more parts hurt and ache.

  • At 18 I had very few responsibilities. I lived entirely in the moment making decisions solely based on my selfish desire for immediate gratification.
  • At 18 I had far more leisure time on my hands and risked my life and health on dangerous activities and substances.
  • At 18 I blew through money like I had a hole in my pocket and misused things I should have taken better care of.

No, I'm not 18 years old anymore

By God's mercy, I've had 44 more years added to my life (so far) and in that life, I've had the love of a good and wise woman added to me, along with the blessing of children and grandchildren who love me in spite of myself and my corny jokes.

  • I'm not 18 anymore, and my decisions are now informed by a conscience that's molded by God's word and will, which helps me to see the longer road.
  • I'm not 18 anymore, and though my body doesn't move like it once did, its actions are more certain and directed toward a clearer purpose.
  • I'm not 18 anymore, and where once I lived in self-satisfaction, I see I have an obligation to others around me to whom I can offer myself in a variety of ways, all of which bring more satisfaction than selfishness ever could.
  • I'm not 18 anymore, and though my hair is thinning and grayer, it represents a lifetime of joy, sorrow, and tough decisions which have hopefully made me wiser and instilled character and integrity.
  • I'm not 18 anymore, and where once I had no definite plans for the future, now I see more distinctly than ever God's plan for my future and a clear way to get there.
  • I'm not 18 anymore, and while I'm nowhere near the man I hope to be, by God's grace I'm not the man I once was.

No, I'm not 18 years old anymore.

"Gray hair is a crown of glory; it is gained in a righteous life" (Proverbs 16:31).

"They will still yield fruit in old age;
They shall be full of sap and very green,
To declare that Yahweh is upright ..." (Psalms 92:14-15).

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